When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Hippo 3D

A short post tonight. I didn't get to the shop over the weekend, I was chained to the computer. Not a bad thing, although I do seem to get that burning in the shoulders after a while! I photographed the little Hippo sculpture from the front, side and top. I brought these images into Hexagon, and set them up like blue-prints. These are what I used to be able to model from.
Some projects are quite easy to model for me, and I can whip them out pretty fast. The hippo took a lot longer than I would have liked, but I got him done eventually. By this morning, he was all built, and a final render was sent to the client. I think they love it. This Hippo is going to get 3D machined on a 4th axis router at around 36" high. We haven't been asked to cut him, but I keep kinda hoping. The nice thing about 3d modeling him, versus a laser scan, is that our version wont have any mold seams, or any other tooling marks that would be captured by the scan. And there are some spots, like under the chin, that I'm not sure the laser scanner would have picked up. Plus, the mesh would be pretty coarse, as the scanned original was only 3" tall. This could be a potential problem if they scale him to a possible 6' later.
  I did a basic render of him that I sent to the client. I didn't need to spend the extra time on texture mapping his eyes, or bib, so I just assigned a basic colour to these spots. All in all, I'm pretty happy with him.
Tomorrow is looking like it will be a blast. We have a production meeting for a time machine pod/ capsule. I've taken the time to quickly model and render the hydraulic stand, based on the early concept sketches, for the pod. Hopefully it's in line with what they want to see.
  I'll keep you posted. And if they decide to go in a different direction, I'll build it any way, and keep going back in time until they agree!

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